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Holyrood to pay tribute to Duke of Edinburgh as parliament recalled

Tom Eden, PA Scotland
·2-min read

The Scottish Parliament will sit today after being recalled for only the sixth time in its history to show respect to the Duke of Edinburgh.

Holyrood’s presiding officer, Ken Macintosh, announced on Friday that MSPs would be able to return to parliament to pay tribute to Philip with a motion of condolence from 11am on Monday.

All of the parties at Holyrood have also temporarily suspended their campaigning for the Holyrood election.

Ken Macintosh
The Scottish Parliament’s presiding officer, Ken Macintosh (Jeff J Mitchell/PA)

On Friday, Mr Macintosh said: “I have this afternoon decided that the Parliament should be recalled to show our respect to the Duke of Edinburgh following today’s sad announcement.

“His Royal Highness, Prince Philip, lived a life dedicated to duty and public service and his support for this institution was clear.

“This is why I have taken the decision to recall in order that we may take the time to pause, remember and pay tribute to his work.”

The meeting will start with a minute’s silence before considering a Motion of Condolence with a statement from party leaders.

Duke of Edinburgh in Scottish Parliament
The Duke of Edinburgh in the debating chamber at the Scottish Parliament building to mark its official opening (PA)

The Parliament has previously been recalled on January 4 to discuss the Covid-19 pandemic and for the death of first minister Donald Dewar, the death of Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother, for a ministerial statement on the release of Lockerbie bomber Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed al-Megrahi, and on December 30 last year for a Brexit debate.

Holyrood’s first presiding officer Lord Steel told the BBC’s Good Morning Scotland programme on Monday: “He was never a fan of modern architecture like Prince Charles, we can joke about that, but, yes, he was a great supporter of our parliament.

“I think (recalling parliament is) quite right and I think everybody wanted to be able to say goodbye to him in a proper way.

“The fact that we have a whole week of public mourning, I think, is testimony to his effectiveness as he was described yesterday by his son as grandfather of the nation – I think that’s how he’ll be remembered.”

Scotland’s political parties had earlier suspended campaigning for the May election after Philip’s death.

Lord Steel, who was known as Sir David Steel when he held the Holyrood role from 1999 to 2003, added: “You can’t indefinitely hold off the election but I think he’s right that we have a pause just to remember him.”

A notice announcing the death was briefly posted on the gates of the Palace of Holyroodhouse, the Queen’s official residence in Edinburgh, on Friday afternoon.

Flags were lowered to half mast there, as well as at the Scottish Parliament, Scottish Government and local authority buildings.